Who knew all you needed to make the best show of the season was to put a disembodied talking head, Sherlock Holmes, Arsène Lupin, the Phantom of the Opera, Frankenstein’s Monster, vampires, and werewolves together in a Victorian gothic murder mystery? That’s “Undead Murder Farce,” and it is one of the funniest, most clever, and delightfully weird shows you can watch this year. The story follows disembodied detective Aya Rindo and her half-Oni assistant Tsugaru, who travel through Europe solving supernatural murder mysteries — and mostly just fight supernatural creatures in the process.
This is what “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” movie wishes it was, a smart collection of literary characters involved in a thrilling mystery that both pays homage to their source materials while also putting a new spin on them. This is a world where Dracula is dead and vampires have begun to openly live amongst humans — which means tensions are high between them. In addition to rich worldbuilding, this show has a fantastic eye for visuals, with director Mamoru Hatakeyama framing not just the action, but even the talkative scenes with attention to eye-popping detail. Still, this a mystery show, and “Undead Murder Farce” delivers a thrilling mystery that lays out its clues in front of the audience, but always keeps an emotional layer hidden until the end, when Aya makes her grand deductions without ever being too long or dull. Whether you’re in the mood for a good mystery, a cool action show, or a horror-inspired monster mash with every Victorian character you could think of, “Undead Murder Farce” has something for you.